Any time I start a new project I have to make the decision whether or not I am going to outline the first draft. Because I hate outlining. I hate it with a fiery passion. I am, what is commonly referred to as a “Pantser” I just write and see where it goes. But, much as I love to do that because it works best for me to keep me writing and help me discover stuff I didn’t know about my characters (and that I don’t discover until I am writing a scene, outline or not) sometimes it means I also hit a wall.

After my last post about losing the voices I was going through documents in my Google Drive and found a story I have tried starting over and over but I’m never happy with how it begins. I have the basic idea where it’s going to go (It’s going to be four books. All revolve around one central character who meets a new secondary character integral to the ending in each individual book)

Where I am mentally right now I could write book 2, 3 and 4. I have a very clear idea of those characters my main character is going to meet, what they are going to teach him and how they are going to do it. I know how to transition between books, I can see the settings in my head (I really want to write book 3’s secondary character)  I even know how the fourth book is going to end.

What I can’t seem to get a handle on is how to get from page 1 to book 2 because the first character he meets is not someone I have as fully flushed out. I feel like he should stay because he is going to take my main character to his second teacher. He is the one who is going to take him out of his small town and teach him about where he came from.

But because I don’t have his ultimate lesson figured out book one has come on sluggishly. I’ve gotten as far as fifty or sixty (maybe more, actually) pages into it and then I went back and started again.

Then I started it again.

Then I started it a fourth time.

So this is where I decide okay: I’m going to Outline. I’m going to break this down, chapter by chapter until I figure out what I need to know so I can write this damn book. (I don’t want to write book 2, 3 or 4 until I write book 1. Book 1 will have major character development and if I skip ahead to where I think my character will be at the beginning of book 2 then I just know I’m going to mess it all up and have to start from scratch again anyway.)

Now I have to figure out the best method of outlining.

Which is what my next several posts will be about.  Different methods of outlining and how they worked for me when I tried to apply them to figuring out this book.


Should be lots of fun.

So tell me, how do you outline? What’s your favorite method? Head over to my Facebook page at and let me know so I can give it a try.




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